You can be a female, be prepared and not look like a dowdy frump (or carrying a ruck). That’s what our favorite Themysciran bad ass Kim says. Though it would be nice to be able to walk around with gun and knife and IFAK on display, that’s just not practical – and it’s certainly not easy to do if you’re trying to dress like a girl. Read Mad Duo Kim‘s opinion on matters of EDC and EDR. Mad Duo
Practical Off-Duty/Everyday EDC
It seems that in life, the more prepared you are for something, the less chance there is that you will actually encounter what you have prepared for. I don’t know who wrote that rule, but it can be a harsh one to learn from. In 2002 in Olympia Fields, Illinois, a town of under 5,000 people with less than average crime and higher than average median incomes, a man went into the local Jewel grocery store, took a knife from the baking aisle, and starting stabbing people. Off-duty, do you have the means to stop him and handle the accompanying aftermath until help arrives? Adding a few small items to your cargo pockets or purse, and knowing how to use them, can be a force multiplier for your preparedness.
The people I’m writing this for aren’t prepared because they don’t want to have a tourniquet, tuff-ties, flashlight, gun, etc, with them at all times. They think it’s too bulky and uncomfortable, and they want to be truly off-duty when they are off-duty. They just don’t think anything is going to happen to or around them. They live in a nice neighborhood full of other cops, and shop or go to movies in that nice neighborhood. If we have learned anything over the last several years, it should be that crazy doesn’t make an announcement before it shows up. Nice people from nice neighborhoods go nuts and start killing other nice people in nice neighborhoods far too often nowadays. I know that for myself, considering all of the time and effort I put in to trying to be prepared and in the right mind, if I had been in that grocery store “off-duty” and not had the tools needed to deal with the situation, I would be very disappointed with myself. I would have been better served to watch soap operas and eat Bon Bons than attend that last TEMS class or concealed carry shooting class.
The average summer fashion for men is baggy cargo shorts and a baggy, untucked shirt, carrying and concealing a whole arsenal if they so choose. That’s fine for guys, but I don’t want to dress like a frump(no offense to frumps), it’s just not my style. When you find what works for you, you can still be comfortable, look nice, and be ready. Regardless of the outfit, my everyday “off-duty” carry consists of a pistol, badge, spare magazine, and a knife on my person, at the minimum. If I have appropriate pockets, I’ll add to my person(as opposed to inside a jacket pocket or purse/pack) a Streamlight Microstream with a spare battery taped to the side, a Tuff-Tie, wallet, and a tourniquet.
The knife may be clipped inside a waistband or inside my tank top, just under my left armpit, and will draw the same as it will from a pocket. That knife arrangement also works with dresses, clipped so it is concealed by my arm, but all I have to do is reach up, pull out, and it’s open ready to go. In shorts weather, whatever is not on my person may go in a very small backpack or purse, but it does not stay home. Those items are put in the same place in that bag every time, so there is no digging required. With jeans, I put the tourniquet in an ankle “holster” and it rides very comfortably around my ankle. Wherever you carry, whatever it is you carry, put it in the same place every day so there is no thought required.
The Streamlight Microstream flashlight is a little workhorse. It is small enough to fit in the pocket of slim-fit, low-rise women’s jeans with the half sized front pockets, comfortably, but can still be easily manipulated. I can shoot with it, and it gives off enough light, without flooding the place. Tuff-Ties are great because they are so packable and don’t take up any space to speak of. If women can be prepared in cute shorts and a snug tank top, then there is no reason why the average guy in baggy cargo shorts and a baggy t-shirt can’t easily be equally prepared.
Where there is a will, there is a way. If you haven’t found a way, maybe you just don’t have the will. Now git’er done.
If you’re interested, you can watch some of Mad Duo Kim’s advice for female shooters on the Women’s NRA TV channel.
Read The Blue Collar OODA Loop: http://tinyurl.com/ll4bxvk
Read Mindset: more than acronyms and color codes part 1: http://tinyurl.com/kv7678t
Read Are you a soft target? http://tinyurl.com/koxpne2
Read Every Day Carry vs. Every Day Ready: http://tinyurl.com/mjh58hk